Well, it's been awhile. Hopefully all of you Dallas Stars fans living in Texas were able to survive Icepocalypse 2021 with minimal issues. I myself went without power and water for various half-day stretches, so can only imagine how awful it would have been for those who lost utilities for days on end (or are still without).
Thankfully, the freeze seems to be (mostly) over, happily coinciding with the return of Stars hockey. The team is heading for warmer waters in Florida, where they’ll take on the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first times this season:
“Both teams have played really well,” said Stars defenseman Esa Lindell. They are on a hot start, so that’s a really good challenge for us, and we’re excited to play against them to see how good we can play.”
After having their season start initially delayed due to a COVID-19 outbreak, Dallas has now had a league-leading 8 games cancelled. The biggest challenge for the Stars exiting this break will be to get back into a rhythm they arguably haven’t established yet:
We’ve got to get back into the game routine,” [head coach Rick] Bowness said. “Right now, we need to play and get some games under our feet again. We’re basically starting all over and we have to get back in the battle.
You can read more from Mike Heika here.
Breaks aren't always bad — the Stars hope this one helps Anton Khudobin get back in form.
Rick Bowness — certified good person:
Players arrived on Friday expecting a routine practice. Instead, Robertson/Caamano & Kero/Dellandrea served as captains and drafted teams. A fun, competitive practice ensued— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) February 21, 2021
Inside Stars’ "mental break" practice, and why Rick Bowness values balance https://t.co/9Sfw0XmfUz
Former Star Ray Whitney talks about his experience in the Department of Player Safety, including some, err, interesting perspectives:
How Ray Whitney's 'Clean' Perspective Shapes the Department of Player Safety@THNMattLarkin catches up with one of the sport's classiest, most sportsmanlike players to discuss the highs and lows of his job: https://t.co/U6czjAqXYx— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) February 21, 2021
Despite some melting difficulties that led to delays, ice hockey at Lake Tahoe turned out pretty well:
From picturesque views of the serene water to games played as snow-covered mountains stood guard on the horizon, Lake Tahoe has provided a remarkable backdrop for the NHL's outdoor action.— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 22, 2021
Here are the can't-miss sights and sounds from the weekend ⤵https://t.co/SSUW9Gx05w
It also gave us this gem:
Finally, the NHL will one day adopt bigger nets. Unfortunately, it will probably be long after we all die of old age: